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UPMC CIO On Health IT Innovation: InformationWeek Live

UPMC CIO Dan Drawbaugh will discuss a model for tech product development, the role of tech in healthcare reform, and more during an radio chat on Tuesday.

Innovation in healthcare technology takes a lot more than a good idea.

UPMC CIO Dan Drawbaugh

Consider telemedicine. Not only must a patient and doctor agree that a video session is OK to replace an in-person visit, but so must the insurance company that pays for the session, the government bodies that regulates it, and the hospital that supports it.

The complexity involved is a big reason healthcare provider the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center thinks it can help create breakthrough IT products. And it's why UPMC has set up a more than 120-person Technology Development Center to refine technology that UPMC can use in-house and market to other healthcare providers and payers. The goal is to make UPMC in-house IT a profit source.

"Almost everything I'm doing I'm thinking, 'Can I make it into a commercial product?'" says UPMC CIO Dan Drawbaugh.

I'll be interviewing Drawbaugh live on on Tuesday (December 3) at 2:00 p.m. EST/11:00 a.m. PST, and you can listen to the on-site radio program and join in the discussion via text chat. We'll discuss UPMC's model for tech product development, Drawbaugh's views on cloud computing in healthcare, the role of technology in healthcare reform, and more. I'll also ask him about, and take questions from listeners via the on-site text chat. (UPMC is the No. 1 company in this year's InformationWeek ranking of the most innovative users of business technology.)

UPMC isn't creating health tech products from scratch. It nearly always partners with a technology vendor to develop something new. The strategy is for UPMC to bring its specific knowledge about the healthcare industry, letting clinicians try emerging technology and offer their feedback to shape development. The vendor brings technology and market expertise.

UPMC sometimes takes an equity stake in startup tech vendors it works with, or it creates a joint venture to develop a product if it's working with a more established vendor.

Which technology areas does UPMC see as the most promising? Drawbaugh points to analytics, where UPMC has partnered with Oracle, IBM, and Informatica. Another is technology to manage the risks that healthcare providers take on as part of healthcare reform, since how much they get paid to do a surgery will depend in part on how well a person does after that surgery.

Please bring your own questions, which you can type in on the site as you listen to the interview. Register for this radio chat session here. (If you're already a registered InformationWeek member, skip to the bottom of the form and sign in with your login.) We hope you'll join us on Tuesday, December 3, for the first of what will be a series of radio chats with accomplished CIOs. 

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User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 12:13:50 PM
Radio Chat
Please join us on our very first "Blog Talk Radio" chat, with UPMC's dynamic CIO, Dan Drawbaugh. Simply register at the link provided above and then click on the URL before 2 EST on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Access the audio from the site; type in questions/comments in the Comments field on the site. The interviewer, Chris Murphy, will be monitoring your typed-in questions during the audio interview. 
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 4:51:45 PM
Treatment or prevention?
This is a good opportunity to ask whether the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center sees more emphasis through new technology on preventative care, as opposed to enhanced treatment of disease and ailments. Kaiser Permanente is moving in that direction in Oakland, Calif.
Michael Fitzgerald
Michael Fitzgerald,
User Rank: Moderator
12/3/2013 | 11:08:25 AM
I wrote about UPMC earlier this year. It is unusual in that it provides healthcare, has a large health insurer as part of its organization, and includes a substantial medical research operation.  It is being quite aggressive in its use of analytics throughout all three of these units to help drive personalized medicine that is both more effective and less expensive than what we have now. 
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